Downtown Stanford Comedy Club Struggles to Recover from ‘Incident’

Richard Montano, general manager of the Stanford 813 comedy club.

By Kevin Collison

General Manager Richard Montano is upfront about how a shooting incident Feb. 25 has hurt business at the Stanford 813 comedy club, which had been open just a couple months.

“We were doing better before the incident,” he said. “We stopped the dance club and we’re now strictly a comedy club and local bar.”

Montano, a comedian himself, was at a cluttered table in the club at 813 Walnut, fielding late afternoon phone calls as the bartender prepared for another long night. The Stanford’s hours are 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. seven days a week.

Lately, it’s been tough filling the 120 seats in the backroom comedy club. The early Sunday morning shooting that seriously wounded two men three months ago still resonated.

The Stanford comedy club opened last December at 813 Walnut.

Before the incident, the club was selling out the comedy room on weekend nights and drawing respectable crowds of 40- to 50 people the rest of the week. Now, it’s fortunate to get 75 people on weekends and a couple dozen on weekdays.

“The return has grown slowly,” Montano said.

Stanford 813, a direct descendent of the famed Westport club established by Stanford Glazer in 1975, continues to book top regional comedians and is on national tours as well. The downtown club was opened in December.

In April, the club hosted nationally-known comedian and actor Kevin Farley. Currently, comedian Grandma Lee, and “An America’s Got Talent” award winner, is appearing through June 3.

The cover is charge is $10 for the two front rows, $5 for the remainder of the room. There are two VIP booths next to the stage that cost $20 per person.

Besides comedy, the front section of Stanford’s has a pool table, dart board and video games.

Don’t miss any downtown news, sign up for our weekly CityScene KC email review here.